SAN DIEGO: AIDS Panel Says Providers Need to Coordinate
The San Diego County AIDS Services Advisory Panel has concluded its 18-month review of the county's myriad not-for-profit AIDS service providers with 42 recommendations calling for "better oversight, coordination and training" among the groups, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The panel, formed after the 1997 collapse of the San Diego AIDS Foundation, submitted its report to County supervisors yesterday. The recommendations include a plan to streamline the county's "complex and time-consuming procurement and contracting system" to avoid delays in access to federal and other funds. They also recommended that the Office for AIDS Coordination "report directly to the county's not-yet-hired public health officer" to "preserve the AIDS voice" in the Health and Human Services Agency. Also included in the recommendations is a request that the "Office of AIDS Coordination be given more responsibility in coordinating counseling, testing, case management and direct services," noted County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who spearheaded the AIDS panel's formation. More than 4,150 San Diego residents have AIDS, and 8,000 to 12,000 more are living with HIV. More than 5,700 county residents have died of AIDS since 1981. The escalating demand has overwhelmed agencies and strained financial resources; the advisory panel "found at least three contractors with fiscal solvency problems." The AIDS Foundation of San Diego was itself nearly $1 million in debt when it filed for bankruptcy. County supervisors have passed the report on to the health director, who has six weeks to decide which recommendations to implement (Kucher, 7/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.